Providing excellence in early childhood education since 1972
...excellence in early childhood education Established in 1972
SCDC helps you find child care available in your community
decision making on healthy development for your child made easier with SCDC
Provider Services
Resource & Referral
Meeting Child Care Regulations
Requirements For Centers & Homes
  The Following Requirements Apply To Both Centers And Homes:  

Child care centers or family child care homes providing transportation for children must meet all motor vehicle laws, including inspection, insurance, license, and restraint requirements. Children may never be left alone in a vehicle and child-staff ratio must be maintained.


Centers and homes must keep accurate records such as children’s attendance, immunizations, and emergency phone numbers. A record of monthly fire drills practiced with safe evacuation of children must also be maintained. A safe sleep policy must be developed and shared with parents if children younger than 12 months are in care.


Each program must have a written policy on discipline, must discuss it with parents, and must give parents a copy when the child is enrolled. Changes in discipline policy must be shared with parents in writing before going into effect. Corporal punishment (spanking, slapping, or other physical discipline) is prohibited in all family child care home centers. Religious-sponsored programs which notify the Division of Child Development and Early Education that corporal punishment is part of their religious training are exempt from that part of the law.

Parental Rights
  • Parents have the right to enter a family child care home or center at any time while their child is present.
  • Parents have the right to see the license displayed in a prominent place.
  • Parents have the right to know how their child will be disciplined.
The law and rules are developed to establish minimum requirements. Most parents would like more than minimum care. Child care resource and referral agencies can provide help in choosing quality care. Check the telephone directory or talk with a child care provider to see if there is a child care resource and referral agency in your community.

For more information visit the Resources in Child Care website at
For more information on the law and rules, contact the Division of Child Development and Early Education at
919-662-4499 or 1-800-859-0829.

Reviewing Files
  A public file is maintained in the Division's main office in Raleigh for every center or family child care home. These files can be:
  • viewed during work hours
  • requested via the Division's website at
  • requested by contacting the Division at 1-800-859-0829

How to Report a Problem

North Carolina law requires staff from the Division of Child Development and Early Education to investigate a licensed family child care home or child care center when there has been a complaint. Child care providers who violate the law or rules may be fined up to $1,000 and may have their license suspended or revoked. If you believe that a child care provider fails to meet the requirements described in this pamphlet, or if you have questions, please call the Division of Child Development and Early Education at 919-662-4499 or 1-800-859-0829.

Child Abuse or Neglect

Abuse occurs when a parent or caregiver injures or allows another to injure a child physically or emotionally. Abuse may also occur when a parent or caregiver puts a child at risk of serious injury or allows another to put a child at risk or serious injury. Neglect occurs when a child is abandoned. North Carolina law requires any person who suspects child abuse or neglect to report the case to the county department of social services. In addition, any person can call the Division of Child Development and Early Education at 919-662-4499 or 1-800-859-0829 and make a report of suspected child abuse or neglect in a child care operation. Reports can be made in good faith. The operator of the program must notify parents of children currently enrolled in writhing of the substantiation of any abuse/neglect complaint or the issuance of any administrative action against the child care facility.

Steps To Follow If You Have A Complaint About A Child Care Program


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